Illicit drug crops - sources of stability and drivers of economic growth?

Eric Gutierrez

In this article, 'The paradox of illicit economies: survival, resilience, and the limits of development and drug policy orthodoxy', PhD researcher Eric Gutierrez argues that illicit drug crops such as opium and coca may in fact enable marginalized communities and territories abandoned by the state to be reinserted into national and global markets.

He argues that these illicit drugs, often regarded as sources of instability, an ‘evil’ that breeds fragility and violence, their production also enable marginalized communities and territories abandoned by the state to be reinserted into national and global markets.

The paper maps out an approach, useful for examining the resilience that has emerged amidst violence and uncertainty in illicit-crop-producing territories, and which can hopefully tackle the continuing disconnect between drugs and development policy.

Read the full article - 'The paradox of illicit economies: survival, resilience, and the limits of development and drug policy orthodoxy'

PhD student